Posted in Geeky, Technology

Great Fiction on YouTube

YouTube holds a lot of great informational content, some amazingly scary people, deep dive fandoms and just about everything in between. What most people don’t think of YouTube as is a provider of great, watchable fiction (outside of the paid stuff). So today, I’m going to show you some of the best fiction stuff you can find on YouTube.

Best Fan Fiction – The Storyteller

This Fallout fan series really comes into its own in season 2 when The Storyteller gets better animations and some pithy companions (Edna the eye bot in my favorite). It spans all of the Fallout games and mostly covers lore aspect, not lets play or mechanics, though you can find those types of videos on its mother channel, ShoddyCast, as well. It so popular its getting its own movie soon.

Best Original Story – Welcome to Nightvale

Yes you can get it in its original podcast form, but you can also get the whole series (minus special events) on YouTube. It’s great creepy/funny audio that will make you care about the characters. Bingeable.  Remember: Dogs are not allowed in the dog park. People are not allowed in the dog park.

Best Comedy – Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager (Night Shift Manager)

Star Wars leans itself to the idea of parody theses days. But if you’re looking for something more old school, try Darth Vader in a dead end job. Its funnier than it sounds and there are four seasons out.

Best Adaptation – Victoria Frankenstein MD

It starts as real science, but it also gives you a funny insight on how the character of an updated Dr. Frankenstein may have made her own web series. Its hysterical!

I’ll update when I find more series worth adding to the list. If you have suggestions, then add them to the comments below. Thanks!

Posted in Technology

Replacing Adobe Creative Cloud with Freeware (open source)

Use your brainThe Creative Cloud is great, but it isn’t cheap, and with subscriptions being the only option, you’ll literally be paying forever! Despite what some people think, its not your only option. There are a wide variety of tools out there that are designed to help you get going without paying $50 a month ( that’s $600 a year if you’re curious).

Why Not Just Pay?

While plenty of people have been quick to defend the change (and their sponsors) as a cost savings, they seem to forget that you’re unlikely to buy a new Adobe suite every year, and in just two years of subscription you’ll be paying more for the same access to the product. Basically, you’ve devolved to renting your software. And, we all know that renting is usually more expensive. Just look at real estate, car leases and computer hardware. Why would software be any different?

If you need the seamless transitions between the tools that the suite offers, or if you need it for something like a college class (get the education discount, if you are in that situation) then you may need the actual Creative Cloud. If not, then consider these comparable options for the most popular parts of the Creative Cloud Suite.

Alternatives to Adobe Acrobat

Formulate Pro is the tool for reading and writing on PDFs for all of your work needs. The best thing is that Formulate Pro works with pen tablets to let you free annotate a PDF.

Alternative to Photo Shop

GIMP is a free, and open source image editor that has features similar to Photoshop. IT works equally well with photos and the creation of original art. The functionality can be extended by adding on customization options and 3rd party plugins.  It runs on Macs, PC and Linux.

Alternative to After Effects (or Premier)

If you want to edit video then the best free option that you have is DaVinci Resolve , and the Lite version is free. This software excels at what it did in its origins, color corrections, but it does have a great set of basic editing tools. You could also consider Avidemux (this is running on Windows, Mac, Linux), Blender or Magistro a web based option.

Alternative to Dream Weaver

Aptana Studio 3  is a great option for a WYSIWYG option for HTML 5 editing. It allows for live editing and includes the kind of customization options that will allow you to add in an array of features similar to Dream Weaver. If you’re on a Mac you could also try SeaMonkey or BlueGriffon.

Alternative to Illustrator

InkScape is your go to for creating and manipulating vector graphics for free. The system comes withe a set of flexible drawing tools, broad file format compatibility a text tool that allows you to work with a range of fonts, and Bezier and spiro curves. It runs on Macs, PC and Linux. You could also use Open Office Draw.

Alternative to Flash

Synfig is an open source alternative to making 2D animations with vectors and bitmaps. The user community is highly active, and updates are fairly frequent. It runs on Macs, PC and Linux. You could also use Apache Flex.

Alternative to Soundbooth (or Audition)

Audacity is a well know alternative for audio editing, and is currently used by many popular podcasts. The bill themselves as, “easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems”.

Alternative to InDesign (or InCopy)

Scribus is a great a page layout program with support for design work using CMYK colors, spot colors, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation. It also has support for vector drawing tools, support for a huge number of file types via import/export filters, emulation of color blindness or the rendering of markup languages. It runs on Macs, PC and Linux.

Finishing Touches

The other major features include the ability to get a library of fonts (just search free fonts and you’ll see a lot of options exist here for free, and a place to make creative portfolios but you could use a free account with Crevado for that. Looking for stock photos? Then Unsplash might be right for you. If you’re a fan of Light Room then consider LightZone.